Impact Wrestling returned late last night (Dec. 13) from Sam’s Town Casino in Las Vegas Nevada. Let’s get right to it.
Rich Swann def. Dave Crist to qualify for Ultimate X
After the match, the Crists attacked Rich. For some reason, it looks like Callihan orders them to stop. Willie Mack marches to the ring, laying out both Crists before jumping Sami. Rich Swann then pulls Mack off Callihan. Sami orders his boys to the back.
Backstage, Willie asks Swann why he pulled him off. Swann says he doesn’t want to go down that road. He knows how dangerous Sami Callihan is.
Well, that was weird.
After the match, which was decent, both Rich and Sami acted out of character. Sami ordered the Crists to stop attacking Swann. Leading group assaults is Callihan’s thing so watching him opt against it was odd.
Then Swann stopped Mack from getting his revenge on Sami, which also didn’t make too much sense. He claimed to Mack later that he knows how dangerous Callihan so doesn’t want to go down that road. But one has to wonder if there’s more to it.
It’s pretty intriguing, though a minor point in the grand scheme of things and not some major hook to drive the story. Then again, most stories in Impact are missing a major hook.
Josh Mathews interviews both Taya Valkyrie and Tessa Blanchard in the ring.
Josh asks Taya about the rivalry she and Tessa have been creating. She recaps their matches, pointing out Tessa’s shortcuts. She claims that’s not how a champion acts.
Tessa responds by questioning how Tessa would know how a champion acts. The only way she would know is by watching her husband, and frankly, he’s not even that good at it. Those types of actions are what kept her champion.
Mathews then informs the two women that their match will have a special guest referee in Gail Kim.
Tessa Blanchard is the real deal. Even standing in the ring with Taya, who’s whole thing was attitude, it was the champ who stood out. She has a presence about her that’s undeniable. And she can cut a promo too. She sounded more natural than Taya did with her tough gal routine.
The special guest referee reveal fit the situation nicely. They needed a stipulation given how the focus has been on Blanchard taking shortcuts. Getting a referee that’s more respectful (which is an issue with their refs in general), was necessary. Gail Kim was already teased in that segment weeks back when Tessa wouldn’t stop choking one of the standard officials.
The addition of Gail could lead to a title change since the story thus far has been that Tessa can’t beat Taya in a fair battle. And I wouldn’t be that surprised if Impact ran with Mr. and Mrs. Champion. But it could also end with Tessa winning and Gail coming back for a match with the woman who could be the cornerstone of the division for years to come.
Trey Miguel def. Trevor Lee to qualify for Ultimate X
Looks like shaving his chest didn’t change the luck of Trevor Lee.
This match was design to allow Trey to show off what he can do. And he is sure is impressive. His style fits well with the Ultimate X match an he’ll likely have an incredible spot or two.
As for Trevor, well it looks like it’s back to the drawing board for the former caveman of Impact. Maybe he shaves his beard next?
Fenix def. Santana
After the match, the Lucha Bros and LAX show each other respect
This was a game of oneupmanship headed into the tag title match at Homecoming. Konnan refused to be at ringside for tonight, not wanting to see two groups of guys he sees as proteges eventually turn on each other.
Once again, LAX (this time just Santana) couldn’t get the job done without Konnan at ringside. They had a rough losing streak earlier this year when Konnan was missing, something that the announce team made sure to point out. If he opts to sit out Homecoming, that could spell problems for LAX.
This is probably the most anticipated match of the PPV thus far. Tonight’s bout was a non-stop battle between Santana and Fenix. At Homecoming, it’ll be all four men and the titles will be at stake, just increasing the intensity of it. Will that respect after the match still be there?
Jordynne Grace def. Ruby Raze
Katarina’s ringer Ruby offered a different challenge for Jordynne Grace this week. Raze is a similar build to Grace, but just a larger individual. Because of that, Jordynne’s offense looked more impressive this week than it had against Katarina, who while taller, looks like it shouldn’t be tough for Grace to overpower her. Grace was the legit underdog tonight.
This time around, not only did Jordynne have to deal with her opponent, but attempted interference from Katarina. That combo allowed her to really shine.
Jordynne Grace is a great addition to the Knockouts division and could be competing for the title sooner than later.
Moose def. Brian Cage via when Eddie Edwards in a hospital gown attacks Moose.
There are two things that really stuck out in regards to the match itself, both Moose related:
One was that Moose got a ton of offense in. This had to be the toughest challenge of Cage’s career. There were plenty of moments that it looked like Cage was down and out. Given the amount of offense and the fact they didn’t even book him to lose, it looks like heel Moose may have big plans.
The other is that Moose seems to be having more fun as a heel. I don’t think it’s fully clicked yet. It wasn’t the thing that propelled him into superstardom as they may have hoped when they pulled the trigger. But he seems to be enjoying it, and that is important to making it work.
The Eddie attack post match was fine, setting up the match we all figured will happen at Homecoming. Honestly this feud has been going on since prior to last pay-per-view and it never really clicked, despite the fact that it stemmed from Moose’s betrayal. Perhaps it’s because douche Moose and crazy Eddie don’t mesh.
Also, if they’re going to do the hospital gown gimmick, he should have had his bare ass hanging out.
- Eli Drake visited Raven at Shady Acres to tell the hardcore legend that he’s going to end yet another hardcore icon at Homecoming and he hopes he watches. Even at a fake asylum, Drake is a great promo.
- Dark Allie vs. Kiera Hogan is set for Homecoming
This was a perfectly serviceable episode of Impact. But they continue to lack any stories that are particularly exciting. The 10pm timeslot continues to suck.
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